Hiring a car in Calgary

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Hiring a car in Calgary

Pick up your hire car at Calgary International Airport and get set for the sun-packed slopes of the Rocky mountains.

60-second guide to Calgary

in its own head

"You want thick, juicy steaks? We got 'em! Heaving taverns playing country and western music? Yep, that too. This is cowboy country, pardner!"

but more realistically

Like Dallas, Calgary was founded on oil and ranch culture, but the "Nashville of the North" has a diverse, cosmopolitan atmosphere alongside the rodeos.

the vibe

Calgary is nothing if not a city of contrasts. You can take in yee-hah events such as the Calgary Stampede and the high culture of the Calgary Opera in one day.

the natives

Brought up at the foot of the Rockies, most locals are skiing before they're walking - catch them if you can.

the weather

Calgary's not short of the odd snow flurry - bad news for sun seekers, but great news for ski enthusiasts who are free to enjoy the slopes from November to May.

the local speciality

Steak. More than 70 per cent of Canada's beef comes from Alberta.

the celebrity

A fan of the hit US TV show 24? The actress Elisha Cuthbert, who plays Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim, was born here.

did you know?

The city is home to six buried time capsules. The first, interred under a flagpole in Confederation Park, was deposited in 1967 and will be opened in 2017.

they say

"Calgary was a sleepy little town with a Wild West pedigree and rural roots. Fast-forward to today and 'Cowtown' has transformed into the heart of the New West." - Lonely Planet

5 to see in town...

1. Glenbow Museum

The Glenbow is the largest museum in western Canada. It has nearly 30,000 modern art works and historical artefacts.

where to park?

On 9th and 10th Avenue next to the Calgary Tower.

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2. Telus World of Science

If you're after hi-tech thrills, the Telus has them by the bucketload. Check out the interactive exhibitions and the impressive Discovery Dome Theatre. One the whole family will enjoy.

where to park?

There are car parks on-site (approximatey 70p per half-hour).

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3. Art Gallery of Calgary

The AGC houses a varied mix of contemporary pieces. It's an effervescent cultural experience and definitely the place to go for something fresh, modern and inspirational.

where to park?

Palliser Parkade on 9th and 10th Avenues, Bow Valley Parkade on 7th Avenue and 2nd Street South West, Telus Convention Centre Parkade on 1st Street South East between 7th and 8th Avenues, and Stephen Avenue after 6pm.

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4. Calgary Tower

Looking for the ultimate high? Standing at 190 metres, the Calgary Tower offers an unbeatable view of the Rockies and the city streets below (thanks to an unnerving glass floor).

where to park?

The Tower Centre Parkade by the entrance.

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5. Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo on scenic St George's Island is well worth a trip. It has an abundance of animals and life-size models of prehistoric monsters.

where to park?

There are two public car parks, one off St George's Drive and one near the west gate.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Nakiska

Located just outside Calgary, Nakiska is an efficient and friendly ski resort purpose-built for the 1988 Olympics. Have a crack at the professional slopes then soak your bruised body in the resort spas.

how to get there?

Head west on Highway 1, then south on Highway 40, and you'll be hitting the slopes in under an hour.

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2. Sunshine Valley

Despite the tropical sounding name, Sunshine Valley is very much a snow lover's paradise. With a variety of slopes stretching across three different mountains, there's something here for every ski enthusiast.

how to get there?

Take the AB-2/Deerfoot Trail ramp to Fort Macleod and merge into Highway 2 S/AB-2 S. Take exit 222 for 552/AB-2A toward Okotoks and merge into AB-2A/Highway 2A. The journey will take just over an hour.

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3. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of North America's largest ski resorts, boasting 4,200 snow-packed acres. Clever design allows skiers of all levels to hit the slopes together, so it's easy to keep an eye on loved ones.

how to get there?

It takes two hours to reach the resort by car - head north on Centre Street NW, pick up Highway-1 W and follow signs for Lake Louise.

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4. Bragg Creek Provincial Park

If you're tired of traversing the picturesque Rockies hampered with cumbersome skis, kick up your heels and take a freestyle walk around the Bragg Creek Park at the heart of the majestic mountains.

how to get there?

Follow Highway-1 W, then take exit 161A to merge into AB-22/Range Road 42 and follow signs for Bragg Creek. You can reach the park by car in 45 minutes.

Book car hire calgary